It’s been quite a year for Canada’s Michael Bublé. In March, the handsome star married Argentine actress and model Luisana Lopilato in a lavish ceremony in Buenos Aires. This fall, the Vancouver-born vocalist published his first book, the illustrated memoir Onstage, Offstage. To top it off, the Grammy- and Juno-winning artist has now released his first full-length holiday album. “I am the most festive sap,” the charmingly self-deprecating Bublé confesses. “You have to be cynical not to like Christmas.” He adds: I’ve wanted to do a Christmas record forever. It becomes part of your legacy—look at Bing Crosby.”
With Bing as his inspiration, Bublé croons his way through 15 seasonal songs—including Bing’s signature “White Christmas,” which Bublé sings in a bouncy, big-band duet with Shania Twain. Produced by Bob Rock and recorded with a full orchestra in Vancouver and Los Angeles, Christmas also features duets with Latin singing sensation Thalia on “Feliz Navidad” and England’s Puppini Sisters on a swinging “Jingle Bells.” Bublé also puts his own personal stamp on Mariah Carey’s touching “All I Want for Christmas is You.” The latter sounds like it’s directed at his wife, with whom he hopes to start a family. “I can’t wait for Christmas with kids,” he admits.
Call him sentimental, but Bublé takes a traditional approach to “Silent Night,” employing a children’s choir, and the string-laden, Bing-like “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas.” And his take on “Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas” is similarly old school. But some of the most successful moments on Christmas come when Bublé breaks new ground. His brassy, New Orleans-style version of “Blue Christmas” is as inspired as it is raucous, while his own “Cold December Night” is a joyous love song that seems destined to become a festive favorite. Bridging the old and the new, Bublé has crafted a holiday album with a little something for everyone.